Otis sent me an email about a few tricks he uses to enhance his typing experience on his BlackBerry. At first I was wondering why he bothered but after I setup a few of them I understood why he is in love with %b! In case you didn’t know the %b code essentially translates into a backspace in AutoText.
This opens a whole new door of possibilities for AutoText shortcuts! I love when I learn new things that solve problems I did not know I even had. You may not agree with the shortcuts he uses %b for but it has a broad range of possibilities. I will hand the floor over to Otis:
I don’t remember whether or not I ever read about the %b code in tips about Auto Text, but I’ve started using it recently, and now I’m hooked!
The %b code, as you may know, inserts a backspace. Hmm. . . What’s so exciting about that? Well, I guess you could say I’m spoiled. I love that I rarely have to hit the apostrophe when I’m typing on my BlackBerry. Auto Text is pre-wired for most of the contractions and inserts them automatically. Sometimes, though, I get a little esoteric – "couldn’t’ve" or "I’d’ve." Also, I’ve gotten so used to not having to type apostrophes that it gets annoying to have to insert them for possessives – "John’s" or "Margaret’s." That’s where %b won my heart.
I’ve defined ‘ve" as "%b’ve; " so, now, I type "couldn’t ve," and it comes out "couldn’t’ve." Similarly, I type "John s," and it comes out "John’s." Once I got used to this, I got annoyed at having to hit the "alt" key for other punctuation, so I defined "j" as semi-colon ("%b; "), "b" as exclamation point ("%b! ") – you get the picture. I even defined "m" as period ("%b.") Why would I do that, when my Berry already knows to change two spaces into a period? Well, sometimes, I want a period without a space after it – such as when I use a period right before a quotation mark.
Henry Petroski wrote, "Necessity isn’t the mother of invention; inconvenience is." These shortcuts certainly aren’t necessary, but they make my BlackBerry experience that much more convenient!